A Happy Father’s Day goes out to my father and the dads of everyone in the front office and Dodger organization. Hope you’ll make it down here today for the game and stick around to play catch with Dad down on the field at Dodger Stadium. It’s certainly an important game today with a chance to take the series from the Angels.
Also, thank you to bluebleeder for the music suggestion…I’ll definitely pass it along to those in charge of in-game entertainment.
As I was driving in, I thought of something interesting to debate during today’s thread. When is the "right" time to give a guy a day off?
I actually think this might be one of the toughest things a manager decides throughout the season. If a guy is on a hot streak and tearing the cover off the ball, you don’t want to take him out of the lineup but you run the risk of people thinking that he’s overworked. But if you take him out of the lineup and he starts to slump, suddenly it’s your fault for knocking him off course?
On the flip side, if a guy is struggling offensively, you try to find a day to let him clear his head and get back on track, but there are many who believe that you can’t get back on track sitting on the bench so you play him and you’re criticized for not seeing that a guy is struggling.
I don’t believe there’s a perfect answer because each player is different in their swings, their age, the status of any nagging injuries they’re dealing with, their personalities and the position they play. Those are just a few of the factors that I’m sure all managers consider, not to mention which arm the opposing pitcher throws with and the batter’s history against that pitcher. But it’s definitely something that clearly stirs debate on this blog and other outlets on a daily basis and is certainly one of the more interesting parts of a game that is played every day like baseball.
Here’s today’s lineup, followed by some notes:
PACKED HOUSE – The three-game series against the Angels sold out and yesterday’s paid attendance of 56,000 equaled the single-game Dodger Stadium regular season record. L.A. leads the NL in attendance with an average of 45,692, more than 1,000 fans higher than the second-best team, New York.
CHAT WITH TOMMY – Dodger Special Advisor to the Chairman and Hall of Famer Manager Tommy Lasorda will host a live web chat on Tuesday at 2 p.m. PT on dodgers.com, becoming the 11th Dodger player, coach or executive to host a chat with the fans in 2007.
CALIFORNIA BASEBALL – One record that has a chance to go down this year is the combined winning percentage of the Dodgers and Angels. They current hold a combined 82-55 mark (.599), which would surpass the 2002 season in which the two teams were 191-133 (.590). Source: Baseball Prospectus
BILLS KILLS – Dodger reliever Chad Billingsley worked 2.0 scoreless innings yesterday and has now worked 12.0 consecutive scoreless innings (seven games). Since April 29, Billingsley is 3-0 with a 1.11 ERA (3 ER/24.1 IP) and 30 strikeouts in 15 outings and his four wins overall are tied for the fourth most in the NL by a relief pitcher.
WALKING IN L.A. – Wilson Betemit drew his 24th walk yesterday in just his 137th plate appearance, which is one every 5.7 times to the plate. Dodger third basemen have a combined 36 walks, more than any team in the NL and tied with the Yankees for the most in baseball.
HONOR THY FATHER – According to home run historian David Vincent, Joe DiMaggio holds the record for most homers on Father’s Day with 12, but a pair of former Dodgers are also on the all-time Father’s Day home run list. Eric Karros went deep eight times on Father’s Day during his 13-year career and Kirk Gibson hit seven round-trippers in honor of his dad. Today, Dodger players, coaches, managers, trainers and groundskeepers will show their support for Father’s Day and try to raise awareness for early detection of prostate cancer by wearing blue wristbands during the game.